New Delhi, Nov. 15 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday said the positive outcome of talks between the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and his Pakistani counterpart, Yusuf Raza Gilani, on the sidelines of the recently concluded 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, have paved way for strengthening bilateral ties.
Antony said that both nations would work in the near future towards increased economic cooperation.
"At the moment, we find positive signs in the relation with Pakistan in the area of economic co-operation. There is a real breakthrough. It's a beginning and also our Prime Minister is discussing with Pakistan Prime Minister. The SAARC Summit also sent positive signals, but we can't expect miracles, but it's a good beginning," he told mediapersons on the sidelines of a seminar titled "Cooperative Security Framework for South Asia" held here.
Dr. Manmohan Singh met his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the 17th SAARC summit to give a push to normalisation of bilateral relations marked by 'shrinking' trust deficit. Moreover, the Prime Minister had described Gilani as a 'man of peace' after their meeting in Maldives.
The meeting assumed importance as it came a week after Pakistan took a path-breaking decision to confer the MFN status to India.
India had earlier on Monday welcomed the resumption of trade talks with Pakistan and expressed the hope that the visa-issuing process would be relaxed to enable businessmen from both countries to travel more conveniently for trading purposes.
Aiming to strengthen bilateral trade ties, Commerce Secretaries of India and Pakistan began their second round of secretary-level talks here on Monday.
Antony further said that steps were being taken by the government to build its military infrastructure with an aim to protect every inch of country's territory from its neighbour China.
"We are concerned about that (China) that is why we are also, since last many years consistently improving our infrastructure and also military capabilities in the eastern centres. We are strengthening our military capabilities and infrastructures not for a confrontation, but to protect our territory and also to build an effective return," he said. (ANI)